This was originally supposed to be a one-shot...but then when I looked at the word count after I finished it, I saw it was over 23, I decided I could afford to split it in half. Even so, the two chapters are looong. XD Anyway, I hope you like it!

Beware the fluff...seriously, it will smother you alive. O_O I think this is one of the fluffiest things I've ever written...

Warnings: Fluff (it's so bad it deserves a solid warning) language, some OOCness for the sake of the story. Kinda shounen-ai-ish?

Disclaimer: If only...if only... T^T

Sasuke inhaled the smoke of his cigarette, black eyes lazily observing the street below him. His jean clad legs hung over the edge of the bridge, heavy metal-tipped boots shining in the fading sunlight. A cool breeze didn't even stir his jacket as it was covered in heavy chains and spikes. He took another deep breath before flicking the stub of his smoke downwards, smirking when it hit someone's windshield as they drove. He blew out the cloud of toxic fume and leant back against the railing. It was getting late.

He reached up, grabbing one of the chains on his jacket and dislodging it. He wrapped it through the bars behind him before sliding it around his torso and clipping it tightly. Then, he let his head relax and closed his eyes intent on catching some peaceful sleep before he had to go back home.

An hour later, he jerked awake when cars hooted below as they sped down the motorway, and with a suppressed yawn he unclipped the safety chain and replaced it onto his attire before standing and vaulting over the bars.

The streets were dark with only a few sparse street lamps actually staying lit. He shoved his hands deep into his pockets, eyes roving over the area for any potential threats. He found none, as usual. He'd already marked his territory in this area. He almost missed the trouble-making teens that tried to impose on his area. Now that they all stayed away, it was so quiet and calm. He no longer had any excitement.

The sixteen year old reached his block and sighed as his house came into view. He kicked a stone out of his path as he walked up the steps and shouldered through the front door, not bothering to call out his greeting.

There were heavy thumps before his older brother's face peered around the corner.

"You're past curfew," the raven informed his younger counterpart emotionlessly. "Father's angry."

Sasuke scoffed. "Father can suck his anger out of my dick," he retorted softly, and his brother gave him a disapproving look.

"Say that again, Sasuke, and we'll see who's sucking whose dick after tonight," he warned, raising his hand and harshly jabbing the younger between the eyes. Sasuke hissed, rubbing the area.

"Go fuck yourself Itachi!" he snarled and was met with another harsh jab.

"Last warning brat; one more word out of line and my hand will go so far up your ass you'll be licking my Goddamn fingers!" Itachi said evenly, but his eyes showed he would make good on his threat. Sasuke growled but didn't say anything, instead just turning and stomping up the stairs.

"Sasuke!" his father's stern voice said and he heaved an annoyed sigh, stopping outside his door.


His father rounded the corner and glared at him. "First of all, don't take that tone with me. Second of all, why are you so late?" he demanded and Sasuke shrugged.

"I felt like staying out."

Fugaku narrowed his eyes and mimicked him "'I felt like staying out'," he repeated in a higher pitched voice. "Sasuke, do you know why I put a curfew?" he asked and Sasuke's lips pulled back in annoyance.

"Because you hate me and want to make my life miserable?" he supplied mockingly.

Fugaku growled. "Keep using that tone and I'll show you just how miserable you could be. No, I put that curfew because the streets are dangerous past that time and I actually give a shit about your safety. You're my son and I love you, despite how much of a boot up the ass that you might need."

Sasuke scoffed loudly, yanking his door open. "Bullshit. You don't love me at all," he snapped and trudged into his room, slamming his door behind him. He distantly heard Itachi calling out to their father.

"Now can I shove my cactus up his ass? Please?"

He growled to himself, locking the door just in case and crumpled down onto his bed, not even bothering to do more than kick off his boots.

He wrapped his arms around his pillow, burying his face into it. In the room of dark colours, heavy metal posters and skulls and cross-bones galore; the lace-edged sky blue pillow was entirely out of place. He sniffed the material, finding his body relax ever so slightly at the nostalgic and comforting smell.


Sasuke let out a groan when he was pulled from sleep by a loud beeping outside. He rolled over, eyes opening blearily. He blinked once before shooting up in bed.

"What the fuck are you doing in my room, Itachi!.?" He yelled angrily, glaring at his older brother who was standing by the window with a cup of coffee in his hands.

Itachi didn't even grace him with a look, simply sipping his coffee calmly. Sasuke looked at his door and growled.

"I locked it! How did you get in?" he snarled.

Itachi took another gulp before placing his mug down on Sasuke's computer desk, making sure to slam it a bit harder than needed and spill some coffee onto the magazine sitting there. He smirked at the growl the action received before lazily pointing to the door.

"Father decided that you've abused the power of a door lock for too long now. You no longer have a door handle," he informed.

Sasuke turned wide, horrified eyes to see that yes...his door handle had been completely removed. He let out an angry yell, jumping off his bed and storming out of his room.

"We've got new neighbours!" Itachi yelled after him and his response was a loud shout of-


Fugaku was reading his newspaper calmly when his youngest son stormed into the kitchen.

"Give me my door handle!"

The man didn't even bat an eyelid. "No."


Fugaku turned a page. "Learn some manners and maybe I'll consider it."

Sasuke fumed angrily. He reached out, grabbing the newspaper and tearing it in half. "FUCK YOU!" he spat in rage.

The movement was so fast; the younger boy never saw it coming. His head snapped to the side when his father hit him across the face with the back of his hand.

"You will not raise your voice, nor use such language with me!" Fugaku said softly, but the threat and anger in his tone sent shivers down Sasuke's spine. Angry, holding his stinging cheek, Sasuke turned and stormed out of the house. In his rage, he did not see Fugaku fall back into his seat, or hear the soft whimper of 'Mikoto...' left behind.

He crashed down the steps, hand pressing over his cheek. He was sure it was going to be bright red and he cursed.

As he stepped onto the gravel street, he heard calling and turned to see that a moving truck was driving off, a young couple waving to the driver. He frowned, realizing that these must be the new neighbours Itachi had spoken of. Not wanting to attract attention to himself, he slinked off to the back garden and sat underneath the large spruce tree, picking at his jeans and mentally cursing his existence.

He was halfway through a rather entertaining fantasy of Itachi getting thrown into a vat of acid when something bouncy collided against the side of his head. Blinking, in no real pain, he looked down to see a bright orange ball sitting on the grass. He reached out, picking it up and examining it.

There was movement to his right and he turned to see a pair of huge blue eyes staring at him from over the fence separating their garden from the neighbours. Bright yellow hair sat atop the boy's head. His skin was slightly tanned and he had strange whisker birthmarks on his face. He looked no older than six or so and his ocean blue eyes were focused on the ball in Sasuke's hand.

The raven frowned, looking at the ball and then the boy. He raised it up a bit and called out.


When the blue eyes shifted to him, he twitched the ball. "Is this yours?" he asked.

Blue eyes blinked and then the boy nodded. "Yeah," he said; his voice soft and high. He was definitely no older than six.

Sasuke nodded and tossed the ball towards the kid, watching as small tan hands reached out to catch it.

"Hn. Keep it on your side of the fence, kid," he said and turned away.

"You look like a cockatoo!"

Sasuke's eye twitched and he snapped his head around to glare at the kid. "What'd you say to me?" he demanded and the blond smiled.

"You're hair! It looks like my cockatoo's head! It's cool!"

Sasuke wasn't sure what to make of that. While he wasn't fond of being called a cockatoo, the kid obviously meant it as a compliment. He settled for grunting and turning away.


He felt the kid staring at him for a while before the blond finally turned and continued playing with his ball.

Sasuke sighed and stood up, brushing off his pants and walking into his house to shower. He was starting to smell like smoke.

Sasuke smirked as the arm around his shoulder jostled him a bit. His ears were assaulted with a harsh bark of laughter and he shoved at the person next to him.

"Knock it off, Suigetsu!" he growled playfully, and his friend withdrew his arm, laughing.

"Yeah yeah, grumpy! But damn, that little bitch was crying so hard after you dissed her!" Suigetsu said and let out a howl of laughter. "That was so sweet!"

Sasuke shrugged, uncaring really. He turned down requests for relationships daily; it was no news to him. Suigetsu, however, seemed to really enjoy watching the girls reactions as they were continuously shot down in public.


"A'ight I get it! Don't wanna go on about it!" Suigetsu shrugged, pulling up his jacket as they arrived at Sasuke's house. They sat down on the front porch and Suigetsu pulled out a pack of cigarettes, lighting two and handing one to Sasuke.

They inhaled the fumes, looking out at the neighbourhood.

"Man, don't you wish you could, fucking leave?" Suigetsu murmured and Sasuke nodded.

"Every damn day," he agreed.

They sat in silence for a long while after that, just smoking and thinking about life when a car pulled up.

"Hey, you got new neighbours?" Suigetsu asked and Sasuke nodded, observing as the car doors opened and a tall blond man stepped out. The back door swung open and Sasuke saw the small blond from the day before climb out. He had a bandage wrapped around his arm, and was struggling to pull out his back-pack. Sasuke narrowed his eyes when he noticed the father was talking on his cell-phone, oblivious to his son's struggle. His eyes narrowed further when the man walked towards the house, leaving the young child alone as he argued with someone over the phone.

The small blond was struggling even more to pull his heavy bag from the car. It seemed to have gotten caught on the seat and he couldn't use his other arm.

Sasuke watched him for a few more minutes before sighing and standing up. "I'll be right back," he said, flicking his stub into the road before he made his way towards the neighbour's driveway. He easily vaulted over the small fence and walked over.

The kid was oblivious to his approach, and only realized he was there when Sasuke reached down and easily dislodged the back-pack from the car. Big blue eyes blinked up at him before a white smile was flashed his way.

"Thanks!" the kid said and Sasuke nodded, handing over the bag. "'re the Cockatoo guy!" the kid exclaimed and Sasuke felt his eyebrow twitch again at the name.

"Hn. My name is Sasuke," he corrected and the kid smiled.

"Oh. My name is Naruto!" the blond said happily and Sasuke nodded, unsure of how else to reply.

"...You should head inside," he said finally, nodding towards the front door of the blond's house. Naruto looked over and sighed, nodding in agreement.

"Yeah. Dad's probably going to yell at me for taking so long," he mumbled as he slammed the door closed and lifted his bag onto his back with one hand. Sasuke raised a brow at his words.

"You didn't take that long," he said and Naruto smiled.

"Yeah, but it's Mom's birthday tomorrow and dad wanted me to help him bake a cake, because he's hopeless at cooking," Naruto said and chuckled lightly.

Sasuke smirked. "And you know how to cook?" he asked mockingly.

Naruto nodded. "Yep. I used to cook for us all the time before we moved here," he said and Sasuke's smirk vanished.

"Why did you cook? Why not your mother?" he asked in confusion and Naruto shrugged.

"Mom and Dad are always busy with work. I do all the chores and stuff every day," the small kid said just as his father stuck his head out the door.

"Naruto! Come inside now!" he called, and Naruto waved back.

"Coming Dad!" When the man disappeared, Naruto turned to smile at Sasuke.

"Thanks for helping me. See you later Sasuke!" he said, walking away.

Sasuke was still frowning. "Hey Naruto," he called and when the blond faced him he asked "How old are you?"

Naruto smiled. "Five and a half," he declared before turning and trotting up the front steps and through his front door.

Sasuke stood by their car for a while, staring at the door the blond had gone through. He was only five and yet he was cooking and cleaning?

Thinking, he turned and made his way back to his house. Suigetsu was texting someone and he let out a growl.

"Shit, I gotta go," he grumbled. "My brother's having a hissy fit. See you tomorrow yeah?" he said, giving Sasuke a punch to the arm. The raven nodded absently, bumping fists with the other boy before heading inside.

Itachi was reading in the kitchen and looked up when Sasuke entered. "You actually came inside before curfew. Let me guess," he closed his book and folded his arms, "There are hordes of zombies attacking people and the sky is turning red with the apocalypse?"

Sasuke didn't react to the jibe, instead falling into a seat and leaning on his arm. He kept quiet, still lost in thought when Fugaku entered the kitchen. The older man looked confused at seeing his two sons in the kitchen together and there was no blood present, and for a moment he hesitated.

"...Should I fear for my life?" he asked Itachi. His eldest shrugged and Fugaku frowned. "What's wrong with him?"

Itachi shrugged again, looking at Sasuke. "He just came in, sat down in a Socrates pose and hasn't said a word since," he informed and Fugaku took a seat.

"Sasuke? Is something wrong?" he asked slowly.

Sasuke continued to stare into space and the older raven's shared concerned looks. Suddenly, the younger boy looked up.

"Is it considered child labour for a five year old to do the cooking and cleaning when his parents are busy with work?" he asked, and both the older males blinked in surprise.

Fugaku frowned, scratching his chin. "Well...I suppose it all depends on the child. If he voluntarily does it and the parents are truly busy with work, then I don't think so. But five years old? I don't know of any child that can cook at that age. Honestly, I don't know," he said with a lilt of his shoulders. Sasuke frowned, biting his lip.

"Why Sasuke? Do you know a little five year old being made to do that?" Itachi asked curiously, wanting to encourage his younger brother's newfound communicative attitude.

Sasuke shrugged lightly, peering out the kitchen window. "...The neighbour's kid, Naruto," he said softly.

Itachi looked out the window. "You mean that tiny little blond kid I've seen in the back garden?" he asked and Sasuke nodded curtly. "Hm...I thought he was six or so," he mumbled.

"So did I," Sasuke replied before abruptly closing his mouth as he suddenly realized who he was making polite conversation with. He huffed, pushing away from the table and shoving his hands in his pockets.

"I'm going to bed," he clipped and turned away, trudging up the stairs.

Fugaku and Itachi shared a look.

"It was nice while it lasted."


Sasuke spent the next week silently observing their neighbours house. For some reason, he just couldn't get the image of Naruto being forced to do work out of his mind. He knew he was probably being stupid, and that the boy's parents weren't evil trolls working him to the bone. They were obviously just the type of parents that worked very hard to provide for their family.

Even so, he would always look out his window in the morning and watch them leave to take Naruto to school and themselves to work. And by now he knew that Naruto's school or day care, he wasn't sure, ended at four thirty.

On the odd occasions that he managed to talk to Naruto, he tried to subtly probe about his living conditions. The concern he felt for the kid's well-being was confusing to him, but he decided not to think on it. It gave him a distraction from his own insecurities and issues, and he gladly welcomed that.

But Naruto was rather reserved when talking about his parents work. He always said that they worked hard to pay for bills-which led Sasuke to wonder how the boy could know all about bills and incomes and other adult worries at such a young age- and assured Sasuke that he was fine.

After another week, Sasuke was lounging in his room. He made a point to be home at around four fifteen every day now, so that he could see when Naruto got home safely. His father and brother, though confused by the sudden change, were visibly delighted. Not that Sasuke cared about them.

He looked out his window, having been occupying his time by doing the last of his homework, and saw the Uzumaki's car. He had finally learned Naruto's last name, and had immediately looked them up online. He felt like a bit of a stalker for doing so, but shrugged it off.

He watched as the blond man stepped out, on his cell-phone once again. He knew the wife worked much later, so she wasn't home yet. His eyebrows furrowed when no one else stepped out of the car.

Where was Naruto?

He knew the blond hadn't stayed home because he saw him get into the car that morning for school.

Something in his stomach curled unhappily and he bit his lip, pushing away from his desk. He grabbed his jacket and wallet, as well as his phone, and hurried down the stairs.

"Where are you going?" Itachi asked, having just stepped out of the bathroom, drying his hair.

"To check something. I'll be back soon," Sasuke called absently and he missed the look of pure surprise on Itachi's face.

"...He actually answered me," the older raven said in awe, staring at the door.

Sasuke jogged down the street, heading into the town. He recalled Naruto telling him he went to 'Konoha Hills'. He thought it was a day-care crossed with a school, but didn't really bother to check.

He walked through the streets quickly, passing liquor stores and drug stores as well as many other places that he was sure were not safe for a kid's school to be around. He gripped his hair, frowning and ran over to a group of woman standing outside a jewellery store.

"Excuse me," he said and they turned to him. "Which way is Konoha Hills?" he asked and for a moment the women looked suspicious.

"Why do you need to go there?" the eldest one asked calmly, narrowing hazel eyes at him.

"I need to pick up my little brother today," Sasuke lied. The women shared looks before the one that had spoken sighed and brushed her two blonde pigtails over her shoulder.

"Follow this street until you reach Lotus Drive and then turn left. You'll know it when you see it," she said and turned back to the window.

Sasuke mumbled a thank you and rushed off, jogging down the street. He followed the woman's directions and sure enough, he easily spotted the bright coloured building that simply screamed 'children'.

He headed towards it, eyes searching over the playground. It was then that he saw a small figure clad in orange sitting on a swing under a tree, looking at their feet.


He headed up to the entrance and slid through the door. A woman with long black hair and lavender eyes looked up and blinked.

"U-uhm...can I h-help you?" she asked softly standing up.

Sasuke caught his breath, looking out the window at Naruto. "I'm here to pick up Naruto," he said and the woman jerked.

"O-oh! His p-parents didn't t-tell me they c-couldn't fetch h-him again t-today," she said nervously, shuffling around the table.

Sasuke's eyebrow touched his hairline. "Again?"

The woman nodded, walking towards him and he caught her name tag. 'Hinata'.

"Y-yes. Sometimes their w-work keeps them so b-busy they cannot p-pick him up. So I t-take him h-home," she explained. Sasuke thought back, remembering that he had seen the car sometimes drive off after Naruto was dropped off at home. Since it was the same kind of car, he had assumed that his dad was just rushing to more work.

Deciding not to point out that Naruto's parents had actually forgotten about him today, Sasuke just nodded.

"Right. Well they're busy today, so they asked me to pick him up," he said and Hinata gave him a once over.

"S-sorry but...who are you e-exactly?" she asked, no doubt wondering about his chained-jacket and gothic appearance. Sasuke almost wished he had chosen to wear something less dark today.

"I'm his neighbour, Uchiha Sasuke," he said and Hinata nodded.

"Ah yes, N-Naruto has spoken a-about you before," she said with a smile and Sasuke was definitely surprised.

"He has?"

"Y-yes...he said you were a 'very cool c-cockatoo boy next door'," Hinata repeated and giggled lightly when Sasuke's cheeks flushed and his eyebrow twitched in annoyance.


Hinata smiled and led him outside. "Naruto!" she called and the little blond looked up, eyes widening when he saw Sasuke.

"Sasuke!" he called, jumping off the swing and trotting across the ground. "What are you doing here?" he asked brightly and Sasuke adjusted his jacket.

"I'm here to fetch you," he mumbled and Naruto tilted his head.

"Really? Why?"

Sasuke frowned. " really busy, so he asked me to come fetch you," he lied. Naruto looked ecstatic.

"So he didn't forget about me! I knew it!" the little blond cheered and Sasuke felt a brick of anger lay in his chest. That was exactly what the blond's father had done and Naruto had been scared of that. He decided then and there that he would have a word with Mr. Uzumaki that very evening.

He nodded to Naruto and then to Hinata, turning and walking away while Naruto waved goodbye to the teacher and grabbed his shoes and jacket.

"Ne, Sasuke?" Naruto asked as he trudged alongside the raven. "Thanks for coming to pick me up!"

Sasuke just grunted, looking around. The light had faded slightly, and the street lamps were starting to light up. He guessed it was nearing five thirty. He glanced to the side, seeing some guys hanging out in an alleyway. His eyes narrowed into a glare when they sent a look his way, eyeing the small blond by his side. He reached out and grabbed Naruto's hand, pulling the blond closer while sending the deadliest look he could at the group of guys.

They turned away, making Sasuke smirk. Even in this area, he was feared.

Naruto had gone quiet when his hand had been taken, but he quickly returned to his bubbly talk, describing the events of the day in vivid- and undoubtedly exaggerated- detail. Sasuke listened with one ear, but his attention was caught when Naruto mentioned a bully.

"You got bullied?" he asked, frowning. Naruto looked at his feet as he walked, his head dipping.

"Yeah. He wanted to take my fox toy, but I said no. He pushed me out the sandbox and I landed in the bushes," Naruto said, stopping and pointing to his knee. Sasuke leant down and saw there was a cut on the tan knee. He frowned, and knelt down. Without much thought, he licked at his thumb and then wiped away the small remnants of blood and dirt around the small wound. Naruto winced but didn't say anything as Sasuke cleaned his cut like the medical amateur he was. When he'd gotten rid of at least the dirt and grime around the wound, he sat back and examined it.

"You'll need to disinfect it and put a band aid on," he informed and Naruto nodded.

"Right!" Then he smiled brightly, reaching out to grab Sasuke's hand again as they continued walking. "Thank you Sasuke!"

Sasuke nodded, looking up at their approaching houses. He narrowed his eyes, already thinking of things to say to Mr. Uzumaki. It was going to be a long night.

Sasuke lay on his bed, tossing a small baseball against the wall repeatedly and catching it. Three nights ago, he had tried to talk to Naruto's father, but the older blond had been rushing about his house like a madman, contacting this person and that when he dropped Naruto off. The blond had spared a moment to shake his hand, thanking him profusely for fetching his son. Sasuke had opened his mouth to start talking then when the phone had rung and Mr. Uzumaki had scrambled off with a quick apology to answer it, slamming the door in Sasuke's face.

Since then, Sasuke hadn't had a chance to contact any of the Uzumaki's. His school was having exams and he'd had to bite the bullet and take some time to study to avoid being held back a year. His last exam was tomorrow and he'd already studied for it earlier, well sure he could tackle it without fear now.

There was a knock on his door, which still lacked a handle, before his father peeked in.

"Sasuke, have you studied?" Fugaku asked and Sasuke grunted, nodding lightly. "Good. Dinner is ready, so come down and eat, alright?" Another grunt and nod and Fugaku almost smiled. During the past week or so, Sasuke's temper had gone down and he no longer rebelled right off the bat. Sure, he still had his angry outburst when pushed, but they had decreased drastically.

Fugaku wasn't entirely sure what had made the change, but Itachi had told him about Sasuke's newfound interest in the neighbour's young child. At first, he'd been concerned of Sasuke's motives. God forbid his son turn out to be some kind of child molester, but luckily Itachi had been observing Sasuke's interactions. The elder Uchiha was observant enough to assure him that Sasuke had no intentions of the sort.

Sasuke stopped throwing his ball and let it roll onto the floor as he sat up. He followed his father down the stairs, glancing out the window at Naruto's house. The lights were on and he could make shapes through the curtains that he guessed where Naruto's parents.

They headed into the kitchen, where Itachi was placing down the plates of steak and mashed potatoes.

There was no conversation between them as they began to eat. Sasuke had just taken a rather large bite when their doorbell rang suddenly. Jumping, he made an odd choking sound and grabbed his throat, a piece of his steak having lodged there in his surprise. Itachi was quick to reach across the room and slap Sasuke on the back hard. After two hits, Sasuke ducked his head low and coughed up the piece of meat onto his plate, staring at it in disgust.

"...I hate steak," he mumbled and Fugaku chuckled as the doorbell rang again.

"Itachi, would you please get that?"

Itachi nodded, walking down the hall and pulling open the front door. "Oh, Naruto-kun," he greeted and Sasuke whipped his head around to peer outside the kitchen. Fugaku held back his laughter at seeing his youngest son leaning on his chair until he was practically horizontal just to see the doorway.

Naruto stood on the front porch, wrapped in a jacket and holding a large measuring cup. He grinned lopsidedly, rubbing his hair sheepishly.

"," he looked up at Itachi and blinked. "...Big-Sasuke?" he asked slowly, indicating he had no idea what to call Itachi. Sasuke smirked when Itachi sent him an apprehensive look, undoubtedly miffed that Sasuke hadn't talked about him.

"My name is Itachi. I'm Sasuke's master, and he's my slave," Itachi said and smirked when he heard Sasuke fall off his chair.

"Lies!" Sasuke hissed, striding down the hall. "Don't listen to him Naruto! He's my slave and I'm the master!" he insisted and Naruto laughed.

"Cool!" the blond said, not entirely sure what to think but finding it funny anyway.

Sasuke frowned, noticing that neither of Naruto's parents was there with him. "What are you doing outside this late?" he asked and Naruto snapped his fingers.

"I came to ask if I could borrow some sugar," Naruto said, holding up his measuring cup. "I'm making biscuits and we don't have enough sugar."

Itachi blinked. "You and your mom are baking?" he asked, smiling at the thought. Naruto shook his head.

"Nu uh, Mom and Dad are at a dinner party. I'm making them myself," he declared proudly.

Itachi looked horrified at the very thought of Naruto being alone at this time and trying to cook. Sasuke growled to himself, once again trying to understand the thought pattern of Naruto's parents.

"They just left you home alone?" Itachi gasped. Naruto laughed slightly.

"W-well, they think that I've got a babysitter...but Sakura couldn't come over tonight so I'm taking care of myself."

Sasuke narrowed his eyes and turned around. He walked into the kitchen, opening a cupboard and grabbing the unopened sugar pack. Taking that, he headed back towards the front door and opened the hallway closet, grabbing a jacket.

"Come on, I'll watch over you until your parents come home," he said and ushered Naruto down the steps. The blond grinned brightly, automatically reaching up to grab Sasuke's hand. The raven, already expecting this, accepted the offered limb without hesitation.

Behind him, Itachi and Fugaku shared proud looks; happy to see that Sasuke was changing so positively from the rebellious boy he had been before. The little blond was definitely a good influence.

Sasuke led Naruto back to the blond's house, waiting for the five year old to open the door before heading inside. He followed Naruto through the unfamiliar halls until they reached the kitchen. His eyes immediately noticed the large potted plants that stood near the kitchen window, and he realized that their shadows were what he had seen from his house. He mentally berated himself for placing plant-shadows in the same category as people-shadows.

Naruto threw off his jacket, and Sasuke followed his lead. The kitchen was very warm from the heated oven, and Sasuke took in the mess on the counters. Flour, an empty sugar pack, a milk jug and a measuring cup and spoons, a tub of butter...the works. A large mixing bowl was sitting on the table, and Sasuke peered in to see cookie dough in the making.

"Ah! Not yet, Sasuke! I still need to add more sugar!" Naruto yelled, dragging a large footstool towards the counter. Sasuke stepped away from the bowl while Naruto climbed up and tried to open the sugar pack. His tongue poked out between his teeth as he pulled at the packet with his small fingers. He groaned when the packet refused to give and Sasuke smirked, reaching out and grabbing the pack. Naruto pouted, crossing his arms over his chest while Sasuke snickered. The raven held the bag up and easily tugged the paper apart.

Unfortunately, he tugged a little too hard.

Both Naruto and Sasuke let out strangled yelps when the paper tore more than necessary and sugar exploded over them and onto the counter, the floor and even into the bowl of cookie dough. For a moment, they both stared down at the sugar-coated floor before looking up at each other.

"...Oops..." Sasuke said slowly and Naruto's lips stretched into a slow smile before he burst into laughter.

"Ahaha! That was so funny! Hahaha! You're face!" Naruto cackled, pointing his finger straight at Sasuke. The raven chuckled lightly as he put the torn pieces of paper onto the counter and began to sweep up the sugar on the counter. He glanced at the piles in his hands once he was done before turning to Naruto.

"What should I do with it?" he asked, looking around for a dustbin. Naruto stared at it before shrugging and smacking Sasuke's hands from the bottom. The raven yelped when the sugar cascaded from his fingers and into the mixing bowl.

"We can just use it in the cookies I guess!" Naruto said cheerfully while Sasuke swept his hands together. The Uchiha nodded and continued sweeping the counter-sugar into the bowl. He looked down at the floor and grimaced.

"We are not putting that sugar in here," he said firmly and Naruto pulled a face.

"Ew! That would make them hobo-cookies!" he exclaimed. Sasuke stared at him.

"...Hobo-cookies?" he repeated slowly, his lips twitching upwards. Naruto nodded frantically.

"Uh huh! I once saw a hobo in the streets when I was going home with Ms. Hinata, and he was eating off the floor! So if we use stuff from the floor, it makes it hobo-food!" he explained seriously as if Sasuke was a silly child. Sasuke stifled his laughter at the serious expression on the five year olds face and simply nodded.

"Oh, I see then..."

While Sasuke used a dustpan to sweep up the sugar on the floor, Naruto continued to make the cookie dough. Sasuke knelt down, sweeping under the footstool the blond rested on when he felt something smash on his head. He froze when something wet and gooey slid over his hair and down the side of his face. Slowly, he looked up to see Naruto staring at him with wide eyes, his tan hands pressed over his mouth in horror. Slowly, the Uchiha reached up and ran his finger over the cold substance. He stared at his finger for a moment.

"...Is that...egg?" he asked slowly, turning accusing eyes to Naruto. The kid slowly lowered his hands.

"I dropped it by accident," he whispered, blue eyes huge. "...Oops?"

Sasuke stood up, towering over the smaller boy. He reached over to the counter and grabbed an egg from the carton. With quick and precise movements, he crushed it right above Naruto's head and let the yolk and goo stream down onto the boy's head. Naruto sputtered and gaped as his hair was matted down with the gooey substance. Sasuke smirked, tossing the shell pieces into the trash before he reached over and rubbed his messy hand over Naruto's face, making the boy yelp and push his hand away.


"Hn. Now we're even," Sasuke said smugly. Naruto growled and slammed his hand onto Sasuke's chest. A large flour print was left behind on Sasuke's black T-shirt and the Uchiha stared at it in horror.

"This was my favourite shirt!" he said angrily and Naruto giggled.

"Serves you right!" he jeered, sticking his tongue out. Sasuke huffed and dipped his hand into the flour packet. Naruto yelped and tried to run away, but Sasuke was too fast. He caught the blond around the middle and picked him up, running his hand down Naruto's face and stomach and leaving a great white streak.

"Gah!" Naruto cried, "No fair!" he yipped, and Sasuke smirked evilly.

"No...This is unfair!" he said and began to tickle the blond while holding him in the air. Naruto shrieked out a laugh, wiggling and struggling in his grip. Sasuke was surprised at how light Naruto seemed, and in the back of his mind he placed it under the list of potential worries for the kid, but for now he enjoyed this game. It had been so long since he actually did something fun like this. He hardly ever had fun anymore if he was honest with himself. Suigetsu may have been his friend, but they never just did something fun. If anything, Suigetsu didn't allow him to simply be himself. He always had to act the badass around him lest he lose his image and his reputation.

But now here, with this little boy from next door, Sasuke was actually having fun. He was smiling, and laughing, and doing something that wasn't hurting anyone at all. It was exhilarating. For so long he had been full of anger and resentment to the world for what it had put him through. Yet here he was able to let go of it all and

"Stop! Stop stop!" Naruto was gasping, his face bright as he continued to chuckle and giggle and struggle. Sasuke snickered as he put the boy down and Naruto squirmed away from his grip, still caught in a fit of giggles.

"W-we have to make the cookies!" Naruto insisted as he caught his breath. Sasuke looked over at the cookie dough and blinked.

"Are you sure that's even edible?" he asked, peering into the mess. Naruto tilted his head.

"What's 'ed-dee-bal'?" he asked. Sasuke smiled, shaking his head.

"It means able to be eaten," he explained and Naruto nodded in understanding.

"Yeah it's fine! Come on, you can help me cut out the shapes!" the blond cheered, jogging up to a drawer and rummaging inside until he produced several cookie cutters.

Sasuke nodded, sending a glance out the window at his own house. Through the window he could see both his father and Itachi sitting in the kitchen. They seemed to be talking amongst themselves, sipping coffee.

"Here! You can cut out the stars!" Naruto's voice interrupted his thoughts and he turned back to the vibrant blond.

"Hn. I bet I can cut more stars than you."

"Ah! Nu uh! I'll cut way more than you!"

"Remind me again, why are we here?" Suigetsu drawled, flicking some dirt off his pants. Sasuke hushed him, narrowing his eyes as he stared through the bushes that were located just outside the fenced off area of Konoha Hills Kindergarten. It was the kids break time, or whatever it was young kids had. He could see Naruto playing in the sandbox along with a little boy with brown hair and red face paint on his cheeks. They were building what looked like a large cave, tunnelling their hands under the sand and laughing when their fingers made contact. Sasuke had to hide his smile when Naruto let out a cheer when he pulled his hand back, gripping a shining stone that they had buried under the sand earlier when they first came out for break.

Yes. Sasuke had been standing in the bushes for almost an hour just watching. Suigetsu had tagged along with him, since they both had nothing better to do today and it was the holidays.

"Seriously Sasuke, I'm starting to get worried for the kids over there," Suigetsu joked and chuckled when Sasuke sent him a withering look. The Uchiha turned back to observe the kids through the leaves and let out a hiss.

"Aha! There he is!" he growled, motioning for Suigetsu to look. The pale-haired teen blinked and edged forwards, placing his face next to Sasuke's to peer through.

"...What am I looking at?" he asked.

Sasuke pointed towards a young boy ambling proudly towards Naruto and his friend. "That little shit right there. Watch what he does," he ordered.

The boy waltzed up to Naruto and roughly shoved his head forwards. Naruto squawked at the movement and whipped his head around, raising his hand to block out the sun.

"What do you want, Sora?" Naruto said angrily, rubbing his hair. The boy called Sora sneered.

"Give me that stone!" he ordered, holding out his chubby hand. Naruto looked at the stone and then at his friend. His blue eyes narrowed in anger and he gripped the little stone tighter.

"No! This is our stone!" he insisted. Sora growled and grabbed for it, his hand hitting against Naruto's shoulder when the blond moved his hand out of the way.

"Gimme it!" Sora roared and he started to hit Naruto over the head with his small fists, making the blond yelp.

"Stop it! That hurts!"

Naruto's friend was tugging on Sora's shirt, trying to pull him off of Naruto who was still clutching the stone to his heart.

"Sora! Let Naru go!" the boy yelled. Sora just shoved the little brunet off and continued his assault on Naruto. The blond was curled in a ball, holding the stone to his chest and wincing whenever Sora's fists made contact with his skin.

"Shit, that kid is a beast!" Suigetsu whispered, eyes watching the way Sora never relented his attack. "That little blond is strong for not crying already!"

Sasuke growled in his throat. "That little punk keeps bullying Naruto every day!" he said and Suigetsu sent him a confused look.

"Who's Naruto?"

"The blond!"

"Oh! Right, your neighbour! Now I remember! Shit, so the kid has bully problems?" Suigetsu asked, turning to watch as finally the brunet ran off to get a teacher. They saw the bully Sora step back when the door opened, and Sasuke snarled viciously when he pointed at Naruto and shouted "He stole my stone, Ms. Hinata! He won't give it back!"

The Uchiha was fully prepared to jump out of the bushes and catch the little bastard out on his lie, but he realized that it would probably look incredibly bad if he actually did that. For starters, they would want to know how he had known Sora was telling a lie, and after that they would demand to know just why he was spying on the kids in the bushes.

Yes, he knew it would not look good if he came to the rescue.

Luckily, it seemed Hinata wasn't dumb enough to fall for Sora's lies as she gave him a scolding look.

"Sora-kun, you are always attacking N-Naruto-kun! This is t-the last time I'm telling you this! L-leave Naruto-kun alone! If I c-catch you being n-nasty again, I'm going t-to call your mother!" she warned, her hands on her hips. Sora just sneered and stalked away.


Suigetsu let out a whistle. "That little kid is almost as bad as I am!" he said, smirking when Sasuke elbowed him in the side to be quiet. "So, what are we doing exactly?" he asked again.

"Hn. I want to teach that little punk to stop messing with Naruto," Sasuke replied calmly. Suigetsu made a choking noise.

" want to scare the brat enough for him to leave your neighbouring brat alone?" the pale-haired teen repeated, obviously disbelieving that those were the right words. "...Are you high?"

Sasuke sent him a deadly look. "You can go home if you want, I don't need you here," he said quietly. Suigetsu looked indignant but shrugged.

"Fine, fine! Whatever man. We'll sort out this bully and then can we go to the liquor store and get some damn beer?"


"That's my man!"

Sasuke nodded absently, continuing his observations. It had been little over two weeks since he took care of Naruto that night. Since then, he was often hanging around the little blond and the Uzumaki adults came to a point where they would ask him to babysit instead of the other sitter 'Sakura', whoever that was. Naruto and he got along splendidly, if you ignored the occasionally argument they got into which was usually all Sasuke's fault since he couldn't resist baiting the smaller boy.

Sasuke's attitude had mellowed out drastically, and it was starting to affect him in other areas and not just home. It was obvious that both Fugaku and Itachi were ecstatic about it in their own weird Uchiha way. The amount of arguments and fights he had gotten into with his family was almost zero now and even Sasuke had to admit to himself that the change was nice.

As for school, he had been improving both his performance and his behaviour. While he was still a bit disruptive on occasion, he actually finished his homework and let the teachers teach without ruining their day entirely. While the teachers were glad, the students around him were starting to get nosey. He'd had many a person asking him what was up and he'd answered them all with his old fierce glare and snarl of 'Piss off' but even seemed to lack the same amount of intense hatred as before and the students knew this. Girls were approaching him more often too but he still denied them all.

Surprisingly Suigetsu had kept his questions to a minimum; never quite talking about his sudden change but never harping on about the same things he used to. It was almost like the pale teen understood that while Sasuke was changing, it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

Sasuke was pleased to know that at least one person he was relatively close to wasn't about to start spreading rumours because he'd softened up.

They hung around the day care, going to a small cafe for some coffee and a sandwich when they got hungry, until finally the school was out.

The two teens were in the bushes from before, watching. Sasuke had been there before-he wasn't a stalker dammit-and knew that Sora only lived a block away, and so he was able to walk home without too much risk.

They followed the small boy until he was only down the street from his house before they overtook him easily and stood in front of him, arms crossed.

"Hey, kid," Sasuke started; his voice blank.

The little boy looked up at him with arrogant eyes. "What do you want, old man?"

Suigetsu snorted. "We're only sixteen, we're not old!" he said and the kid stuck his tongue out. Quick as a flash, Suigetsu was kneeling in front of him, his finger and thumb pinching the kid's tongue. Wide brown eyes stared at him as the kid registered what had just happened. "I'd watch that tongue if I were you, brat. You never know when someone will come along and cut it off," Suigetsu murmured softly, grinning and showing off his sharpened teeth.

Sasuke smirked when the kid pulled away with a squeal. "Listen here, brat, I'm only going to say this once," he said and the kid stared up at him. Sasuke fixed him with a cold glare. "If I ever catch wind of you bullying Naruto Uzumaki again, I'll hunt you down and make sure you are never able to speak again," he said and Sora paled. Suigetsu straightened up.

"And don't think we won't hear about it. We have spies all around watching you," he said and winked.

Sora looked absolutely terrified and he nodded hurriedly. "I swear I won't! I swear!"

Sasuke nodded stiffly. "Now get lost, brat," he growled and the kid was sprinting away before they could blink.

Suigetsu snickered, flexing his fingers. "Scaring little kids...somehow I can see it under the 'Sasuke in a Nutshell' category," he joked and Sasuke smirked as he shoved his hands into his pockets.


"So, can we go get beer now?" Suigetsu asked hopefully and Sasuke rolled his eyes.

"Whatever, let's go."


"-Now you agree to the terms and conditions, right?" Fugaku asked as he stood in front of Sasuke's bedroom door with his hands folded across his chest.

Sasuke sighed and nodded. "Yes, Father, I agree to the terms and conditions," he mumbled. It had taken ages but finally it seemed his father was willing to give his door handle back to him. Fugaku had only agreed under the conditions that Sasuke was not to lock it unless he was getting dressed or masturbating-a rather disturbing sentence coming from his father- and that if he started to misbehave again, his lock would be taken away.

Fugaku looked down at him carefully before nodding and turning around, moving to put the handle back in place.

"Oh yeah, I'm going to be babysitting Naruto tonight until about twelve," Sasuke said, remembering why he had initially searched for his father. Fugaku nodded as he fitted the last screw into place, wiping his hands and turning a soft smile to his son.

"Okay then. What do you two plan to do?" he asked as they walked down the stairs. Although he didn't voice it, he was overjoyed that he could actually talk to Sasuke without it ending in a vicious argument that left him feeling like a useless parent that was failing their child.

"I don't know. Maybe we'll watch a movie or something. He's been talking about wanting to see that Rio or whatever it was," Sasuke said dismissively, waving his hand. "I went and bought it the other day," he added quietly as if he wasn't sure he wanted anyone to hear.

Fugaku heard the whisper and grinned to himself. Sasuke had, whether consciously or not, become completely smitten with the little boy. He was always doting on him and spoiling him in his own, strange way. While he himself hadn't had much interaction with the boy, he had seen the way Sasuke would come home with a strange item that was definitely from a child's store. And not too long after, Itachi would come sprinting into his office and yapping on about how Naruto was playing with a brand new toy in the back garden that Sasuke had apparently given him.

Sometimes Fugaku wondered if Itachi had matured past the age of ten. While he looked his age, his actions often said otherwise.

"Sasuke! Mrs. Uzumaki is here with Naruto!" Itachi suddenly called and both the Uchiha's on the stairs paused. Itachi sounded slightly...put out.

They walked over to the entrance to see Naruto's mother Kushina, a lovely woman with long red hair and a rounded face. She gave a tight smile as she saw Sasuke.

"Hello, Sasuke, I hope you're well?" she asked politely and Sasuke nodded.

"Yes, thank you. And yourself?"

"I'm fine, thanks," she said, glancing down at Naruto. Sasuke did the same, surprised to see that the little boy looked right depressed. He was holding his mother's hand loosely, his eyes downcast while he scraped his foot against the porch. "Yes, the reason I'm here..." she began.

Sasuke bent down, not really listening to her. "Naruto, what's wrong?" he asked softly. Naruto glanced up at him before looking away.

"Mom wants me to go to Sakura's house for the night," he mumbled unhappily. "But I don't want to go to Sakura's."

Sasuke looked up at Kushina when she cleared her throat.

"Yes, you see Minato and I are going to be gone the whole night on a short business trip. I know that you've been babysitting him for a while now but, and please don't take offence, we don't really know you all that well. Sakura has been our babysitter for a year now, and so we just feel she's more appropriate to take care of Naruto for an entire night. But he's putting up a big fuss over it," she added, turning to look at her son. Naruto avoided her eyes, his own fixed on the floor while he bit his lip.

Sasuke straightened up. "Mrs. Uzumaki, you can trust me! I'll take great care of Naruto...We will take great care of him!" he said, stepping aside to pull his brother and father forward. Both of them blinked at his actions but Fugaku quickly straightened, offering his hand.

"Mrs. Uzumaki, it's a pleasure. My name is Fugaku," he introduced and Kushina smiled, taking his hand.

"Kushina Uzumaki. The pleasure is mine. I understand that your son is surely trustworthy but...well, I'm just not sure if this is a good idea," she continued, combing a hand through her hair. She looked at Itachi and then back at Sasuke. "He's my son, so I'm nervous about leaving him with anyone that I don't know on a close personal level... Babysitting for a few hours is one thing but a whole night is different. I'm just...hesitant," she admitted and her hand tightened around Naruto's. The little boy looked ready to cry, his cheeks red. Sasuke stared at him, and finally he realized why Naruto was especially upset. He didn't want to go to Sakura's, but at the same time he didn't like upsetting his mother. This was probably one of the few occasions that she fully interacted with him or over him and undoubtedly he didn't want to make her unhappy during that time.

"Mrs. Uzumaki," he said, turning to her, "what if Sakura came over to your house to stay the night, and babysat alongside me? That way, Naruto can stay home, he gets to see me like he wants, and you have someone you trust watching him through the night. I can come home to sleep if you'd prefer that, or I can sleep on your couch, whichever is fine," he suggested, looking at her earnestly.

Itachi and Fugaku shared looks behind his back, the older Uchiha barely containing his smile. Naruto was looking up at his mother, the hope on his face so bright that his eyes were like lanterns in a dark cave.

Kushina hummed in thought, looking down at her son and seeing his expression. After a moment she smiled brightly and nodded. "That would be fine. I'm sure Sakura won't mind either, she rather enjoys coming over to our place and staying the night. Something about our guest bed being that comfortable or something. And I'll let Sakura decide whether or not you can stay over, since she has a rather good judge of character. If she agrees, I know I would," the woman said and Sasuke caught the underlining meaning.

'If I can prove to this Sakura person that I'm a trustworthy person, then she'll have no reason to ever doubt me again.'

Naruto was practically vibrating in his happiness, his eyes shining as he hugged his mother's legs tightly. "Thank you mommy!" he cried. Kushina smiled down at him, petting his head.

"Well, you'd better just grab some comfy clothes just in case you aren't thrown back into our house tonight, little brother," Itachi drawled with a smirk. He dodged the swing Sasuke took at him, chuckling and Fugaku shook his head.

"Teenagers," he mumbled and Kushina laughed.

Sasuke was soon standing on the porch of the Uzumaki household, watching as they climbed into their car. Kushina poked her head out the window.

"Sakura should arrive in a few minutes! Have fun Naruto!" she said, waving to her little boy while Minato started to reverse. Naruto waved enthusiastically, smiling wide.

"I will! Do your best at work!" he called and received Minato's thumb up in response while Kushina blew him a kiss.

The car drove off, Naruto waving until it was entirely out of sight before he looked up to Sasuke, grabbing his hand. "Hey Sasuke, I got a new game the other day! Wanna play?" he asked, following as Sasuke led them inside.

"Hn. As long as you promise not to cry when you lose," he said, laughing when Naruto yanked his hand away and stomped ahead.

"I won't lose!"

The game turned out to be a Ratchet and Crank game and Sasuke was the one who helped Naruto get past most of the difficult bits. Naruto did rather well most of the time, impressing Sasuke with how he managed to figure out some of the puzzling objectives on his own.

About twenty minutes into the first game, there was a knock on the door.

"That must be Sakura," Sasuke mumbled. He wasn't really looking forward to meeting the girl, simply because he didn't like most girls in general. It was mainly bad experience since the only girls he really knew were the ones that continuously clung to him and asked him out as if he had shown interest.

He left Naruto to play as he walked to the front door, sighing and turning the handle. The wooden barrier opened slowly and Sasuke immediately wanted to slam it shut when he caught sight of all the pink.

"Oh, you must be Sasuke," the girl said and Sasuke frowned at the way his name rolled off her tongue. It was somewhere between a purr and a drawl of disdain. He had to admit he was impressed she'd pulled that off, but he didn't like her. "I'm Sakura, Naruto's real babysitter," she said as she pushed past him.

Sasuke stood at the doorway for a moment, gritting his teeth tightly. It took way to much effort not to slam the door closed but he managed. He walked back into the living room, coming to a stop once again when he saw Sakura sitting lazily on the couch. She was a slim girl with a wide waist and a rather flat chest. The most notable feature on her was her dyed pink hair, which went with the bright pink shirt she wore and the pink skirt. Her green eyes were focused on Sasuke, but his own eyes were focused on her feet. She had put them on top of Naruto's head like he was a footstool.

Frowning at that, he walked over and nudged her feet off. She raised an eyebrow at him when he chose to sit down next to Naruto on the floor rather than on the couch next to her.

"So, Sasuke, what can you tell me about yourself?" she asked, crossing her legs and resting her head on her hand. Sasuke glanced at her over his shoulder, his eyes staring at her blankly. He did not like this girl at all.

"Nothing other than that I'm a perfectly capable babysitter who lives right next door," he said monotonously before turning back to the screen and watching as Naruto fought an enemy. "Try pushing him off the edge," he suggested and the blond poked his tongue out in concentration as he attempted the new strategy. Sasuke could feel Sakura's gaze on his head and rolled his eyes, turning back to her. "Is there something you want to say to me?" he asked, the comment coming out a lot shorter than he had meant. Sakura's green eyes narrowed at his tone.

"No. There's nothing I can think of to say to someone like you," she sneered, looking away from him as though he were just a smudge on the wall. "Naruto, go fetch me a drink," she continued with a yawn.

Naruto jumped, his fingers slipping on the controller and he almost got killed in the game. Sasuke placed a hand on his shoulder, mumbling for him to carry on before he turned cold eyes to the girl behind him.

"You've got two legs, and I'm sure someone like you at least has enough intelligence to walk to the kitchen a fetch a glass of water," he said icily, using her earlier phrase. Sakura sent him a glare before she smirked coldly.

"So, apparently I get to decide whether or not you stay the night. And I also get to decide whether or not you're a good person or not," she said and Sasuke bristled, his hands clenching.

'There is no way in hell I'm going to be able to suck up to this bitch!' he though angrily. He looked around the room quickly. 'I might be able to kill her before Naruto realizes what happened. Maybe I can strangle her with the phone? Oh no wait, it's a cordless phone. Dammit,' he returned his glare to Sakura, who was smirking at him in cold amusement.

Sasuke narrowed his eyes. "You can still fetch your own drink," he said calmly before turning back to the screen. "And maybe choke on your own arrogance while you're at it," he muttered under his breath. Naruto looked at him weirdly, having only heard a word or two of that little sentence. Sasuke caught his eye and just shook his head, smiling slightly. Naruto grinned in response only to let out a disappointed cry when he was killed and a large game over appeared on the screen. Sasuke snorted loudly.

"Remember, you promised you wouldn't cry if you lost," he said teasingly and Naruto crossed his arms, pouting.

"I'll win next time!"

Sasuke's jaw was clenched so tightly he was almost afraid that his teeth were going to crack. He was glaring holes into the back of Sakura's head, the girl just sitting on a chair and chatting to her friend over the phone.

The afternoon had been going drastically slow and only minutes ago Sakura had nudged Naruto with her shoe and said 'What are you making for dinner? I'm hungry.'

Naruto had scampered off to the kitchen to start on a meal before Sasuke could argue and that left him where he was, trying to make Sakura's head explode with his eyes alone. How on earth could the Uzumaki's trust this girl with Naruto? She didn't do anything! So far she'd only sat her ass on their couch, drank their juice and now she was running up their phone bill. Not once had she tried to interact with Naruto other than to tell him to move out the way of the T.V, fetch a drink or massage her damn smelly feet.

Sasuke was itching to throttle the girl. She wasn't looking after Naruto at all, she was just...there. Like some kind of fat slug that was oozing her disgusting goo all over their nice furniture.

'Maybe I can set fire to the couch and she won't notice until it's too late?' he wondered, his eyebrows perking higher in contemplation. Then he shook his head. 'No, the fire could get out of control. And then we'd lose the couch.'

Deciding that there was no way he could stand by Sakura without causing her some form of harm; he went into the kitchen to stop Naruto from making food and make it himself. The kid shouldn't have to make food; that was the babysitter's job!

He walked into the kitchen to see Naruto looking into the freezer, searching for something that he could cook them all for dinner. Sasuke scowled at how obedient he was towards the pink-haired menace and walked over, closing the freezer right under the blond's nose.

"Eh? Sasuke! I was looking!" Naruto said indignantly, but Sasuke just ruffled his hair to shut him up as he walked over to the phone.

"We're having pizza tonight," he said calmly, dialling a number and placing the phone to his ear, listening to the dull ringing. He smirked as he heard Naruto let out an excited cheer, pumping his small fists into the air before he rushed into the living room to inform Sakura.

That thought gave him an idea and his smirk turned evil.

"Pizza Express, what can I do for you?"

"I'd like to order a large pepperoni and pineapple pizza, and a small tomato and cheese pizza," Sasuke drawled, tapping his fingers on the counter.

"Delivery or pick up?"

"Delivery please," he said politely, waiting as the person rang it up.

"And who will be paying?"

"Sakura Haruno," Sasuke replied immediately, his lips stretching into a wicked grin as the person told him the bill. "How long will that take?"

"At maximum ten minutes!" the voice chirped proudly and Sasuke nodded happily.

"Great. Thanks!" he said, hanging up after hearing their cheerful goodbye. Whistling a happy tune to himself he walked back into the living room with his hands in his pockets. "By the way Sakura, the bill is about ten bucks. Make sure you give the guy a tip," he said nonchalantly.

Sakura fumed where she sat, having finally gotten off the phone. She crossed her arms, glaring at him as Sasuke made himself comfortable on the floor next to Naruto once again. They were going to play a game of Snap, and he was ready to compete with the blond.

"...So I was talking to my friend Ino," Sakura piped up suddenly and Sasuke rolled his eyes.

"-Because obviously I care about what you and your friends gossip about," he clipped sarcastically. He could feel her narrow her eyes, but it was the cold smirk on her face that set him on edge.

"You should, actually. Ino had quite the story to tell when I told her that one Sasuke Uchiha was babysitting...So is it true that you were part of a gang?" she asked in a cheerful voice and Sasuke's hackles were raised instantly. He snapped his head around, glaring daggers at her. "And is it also true that you sent one of your fellow classmates to the hospital and he had to stay in the ICU for four whole nights? Really, someone who joins gangs and beats up people is no babysitter for such a sweet little boy," Sakura continued, sliding off the couch and wrapping her arms around Naruto.

The blond looked uncomfortable, sensing the growing tension and dark aura in the room. He couldn't understand what Sakura was saying, but he remembered hearing his dad talk about gangs. They were very bad, apparently.

"That was in the past!" Sasuke said darkly, his tone dripping with the promise of pain if Sakura continued to broach the subject.

"Oh? Is it really? I couldn't help but notice the scars you had on your lip to indicate a closed piercing. And then there's your dark and intimidating outfit! Really, young children would run away screaming if you came near them!" Sakura sneered.

Sasuke scowled before it morphed into a fond smirk. "Naruto didn't. In fact he approached me several times," he said smugly as Sakura scowled.

"I don't think you'll be spending the night here, Uchiha," she snapped.


Both teens sprung back in surprise when Naruto stood up, staring at Sakura.

"I want Sasuke to stay here! I want him to sleep over!" he protested loudly, his arms flung out as if protecting Sasuke.

Sakura scowled. "Naruto, he's hardly the type of person you should be playing with! He's a delinquent, probably an addict and he's probably a slut too!" she said darkly, glaring at Sasuke.

Sasuke stood up, towering over her. His fists were clenched and his face was a sickly pale out of pure fury. He wanted to hit her so badly his muscles ached with the desire. He had never hit a girl before, but he couldn't think of Sakura as a girl. She was a demon in his eyes, a foul, loathsome creature that he needed to beat until it was no longer any recognizable shape. Hatred for her was burning his blood like a raging inferno and there was a hissing in his ears.

"Shut up, you stupid cow! I might not be some stuck-up golden boy, but I'm not a delinquent!" he spat. He wasn't a delinquent, dammit! He had changed. He didn't do any of the things she said. He admitted to smoking, but never had he done drugs. He had drawn the line. And he had never, ever, whored around. He was still a virgin for crying out loud! Just because he didn't go declaring it to the world didn't mean he wasn't!

Sakura got to her feet too, glaring at him. "Oh please, as if I'm going to believe the likes of you!" she sneered, hands on her hip. "Get out right now! You shouldn't even be alive; it's delinquents like you that make today's society so bad!" When Sasuke took a threatening step forward, Sakura smirked. "Get out or I'll tell Naruto's parents about how you smoke around him, and all about your reputation! Oh and let's not forget those paedophile charges too!" she chirped.

Sasuke froze. Paedophile charges? That was bullshit. He'd never, ever, in his life, done anything to a kid. He didn't even like kids with Naruto being an exception. So what was Sakura talking—

His eyes widened. "You'd lie through your teeth just to win?" he growled and Sakura smirked.

"They'll believe me long before they ever believe you!" she said, triumph burning in her eyes. She pointed a manicured finger to the door. "Now get out! Right now!"

Sasuke felt his entire body trembling. The rage burning inside of him was so fierce he wondered if he could contain it. Looking at Sakura's smug face, he wanted nothing more than to grab the nearest blunt object and smash her head in. Thinking about it, all that would spill out would be acidic ooze and disgusting lumps of black coal, as that seemed to be what this person was made of.

Sakura's hand reached towards the phone and Sasuke took an immediate step back. He couldn't let her make that call. Despite it being a lie, he knew that things looked bad for him. He did have a terrible reputation, and that was all Naruto's parent's needed to know to never let him near their son again.

He looked down at Naruto, seeing the child's pleading face. He didn't want Sasuke to go, but the raven knew if he didn't, they would never get to spend time together again.

With a heavy growl of defeat, Sasuke started to back away. "Alright, fine, you whore," he hissed so that only Sakura would hear. She scowled. "Make sure he brushes his teeth before bed," Sasuke added and Sakura gave him a haughty glare.

"Get out, Uchiha," she snapped waving her hand.


Naruto's yell made the two of them jump, and Sakura let out a yelp when the small blond roughly shoved her, making her fall backwards.

"Naruto! What the hell are you doing—"

"I'll tell my Mom and Dad!" Naruto cut in, angry eyes staring at Sakura. The girl blinked.

"Tell them what?" she asked angrily, sitting up and rubbing her elbows. "That I made him leave? They won't argue with me—"

"I'll tell them about the movies you took and never gave back!" Naruto said loudly and Sakura froze. Sasuke's eyes widened as he looked down at Naruto, standing so strong in front of him.

"Naru—" Sakura started, but the blond cut her off again.

"And I'll tell them that you never cook! And that you broke Mom's vase! And that you took Dad's car out that night and left me alone!"

Sasuke's eyes darkened, narrowing so much that they were mere slits while the corners wrinkled in pure rage.

"You..." No words could be found to describe what Sakura was to him. She was staring at Naruto in panic and Sasuke took a step forward. "You left him all alone?" Sasuke growled. "And have the say that I'm no good as a babysitter?" his voice was getting louder.

Sakura stumbled to her feet. "Now wait a moment Naruto! You promised you wouldn't tell anyone about that—"

"And I'll tell them you hit me!" Naruto said suddenly and the room dropped ten degrees in temperature. Sasuke was as tightly wound as a string, his frame shivering with rage and the effort to hold himself back. The dark aura around him was suffocating and now, Sakura looked properly concerned as she stared at him.

"He's lying! I never laid a hand on him!" she shrieked. Naruto titled his head up.

"My Mom will believe me if I tell her!" he said simply, but his eyes were wide and glaring at Sakura. "Sasuke stays!"

Sakura stared at him and then at Sasuke. Her face was stained red in anger before she let out an aggravated shriek. Naruto jumped back at the noise, surprised and a bit frightened at how infuriated Sakura looked. Sasuke stepped up, and Naruto hid behind his legs slightly, peering out at Sakura as she stomped around, gathering her things.

"Fine! Fine, you little runt! I'm leaving! And don't ever expect me to come here again! God, I hate children like you! You're all a bunch of little, conniving monsters! I hate you all!" she screeched, whirling around and jabbing a finger at Naruto.

In the instant that Naruto whimpered sadly, Sasuke's hand shot out and his fingers closed around Sakura's extended finger, pulling it back. She gasped in pain, stepping forward to try and relieve the pressure while Sasuke growled menacingly.

"Get out," he spat. "And if I ever see you near Naruto again...You'll get to know just what my old classmate experienced before he got to ICU."

Sakura yanked her hand away as soon as it was free and turned, rushing out of the room. The two heard the front door slamming violently and Naruto tightened his grip on Sasuke's jeans, looking towards the door with wide eyes.

Sasuke sucked in a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Sakura was gone now and he couldn't afford to let himself get even more worked up. If he snapped, he would scare Naruto and he didn't want to do that. Ever.


Opening his eyes, he looked down at Naruto, seeing the sad look on his face. Guilty, Sasuke knelt down.

"I'm sorry for making you fight with Sakura," he said. Naruto looked at the floor, giving a slight shrug.

"All those things were true," he mumbled, missing the way Sasuke tensed. "She wasn't a very good babysitter...And she was mean sometimes."

"Did..." Sasuke swallowed back the growl in his voice. "Did she...really hit you?" he asked slowly, feeling the anger bubbling up again. It would only take a phone call. He could call Suigetsu, or his old buddy Juugo and tell them about Sakura. She would receive threats and warnings within minutes, and Sasuke knew he could effectively make her life miserable without having to do more than make a few calls and answer a few texts.

Naruto looked up. "Oh, no, not that! Everything else, but not that!" he amended and Sasuke stopped fantasising of Sakura waking up to find dead rats on her pillow. "I only said that because she was gonna lie too, and so I was—"

"Using her own threat against her," Sasuke finished, grinning slightly. "You sly little critter," he said, and reached out, pinching Naruto's nose. The blond pulled away, batting his hand and tweaking his nose like a rabbit.

Sasuke found it adorable.

The doorbell rang, announcing that their pizza had arrived. Sasuke sighed, knowing he'd have to pay, but with Naruto's excited chatter that sounded more like a mantra of 'Pizza', he thought the ten bucks was worth it. They watched Rio-much to Naruto's pure delight-while they ate their pizza.

After dinner, Sasuke informed the child it was time to get ready for bed. He ran a bath for Naruto and washed his hair for him, despite Naruto's protests and embarrassment. But Sasuke was concerned that, with Naruto being so clumsy, he would get shampoo in his eyes. When Naruto climbed out of the bath, Sasuke was ready with a towel, but the blond seemed to have a bit of a nudist streak. He ran around the entire house, avoiding the frustrated raven and the deadly towel. Sasuke had finally managed to corner him and made sure to take extra long to rub him down and get him dry before telling Naruto to get some clothes on. Naruto waved, ready to go change into his pyjamas. Before he could escape, however, Sasuke caught him by the hem of the fluffy towel he had draped over his body.

"Have you brushed your teeth?" he asked, peering down into wide, guilty blue eyes.

"...Noooo," Naruto said, drawing out the word and trying to look cute and innocent.

He was successful, but Sasuke had the power of the force.

"Go brush your teeth, you llama!"

"Hey! I'm not a ll-laa-ma! I don't even know what that is!"

Q~Q Little kid Naruto...such a sweetie, bless him. I wish I could cuddle him!

Since the second half is already done, I'll post it tomorrow in the afternoon once I'm finished with my schoolwork. As for now, I hope you're enjoying it and please leave a review! ^_^